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INDYCAR NEWS 

James Hinchcliffe heads final IndyCar practice at New Hampshire

James Hinchcliffe Newman/haas IndyCar New Hampshire 2011

James Hinchcliffe was a surprise pace-setter in the final IndyCar practice session at New Hampshire as the Newman/Haas team served notice of its intent to cause an upset.

The Canadian had been solidly inside the top 10 in both of Thursday's first two sessions, but improved his relative pace considerably to lap the oval in 21.649s - 0.144s faster than Chip Ganassi driver Graham Rahal.

Maintaining his own strong form throughout the weekend so far, KV Racing's Tony Kanaan was third fastest while Oriol Servia made sure both Newman/Haas cars were at the sharp end with the fourth best time.

Takuma Sato was fifth quickest for KV with Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay next up.

The best of the drivers expected to challenge for victory was Ganassi's Scott Dixon in seventh, while his championship leading team-mate Dario Franchitti - quickest in both Thursday sessions - was only 11th.

Between the pair were Penske team-mates Ryan Briscoe and Will Power and JR Hildebrand's Panther car.

Britain's James Jakes was an encouraging 23th in his Dale Coyne Dallara while Helio Castroneves was well down in 18th for Penske.

Pos  Driver               Team                      Time             Laps
 1.  James Hinchcliffe    Newman/Haas Racing        21.6492            87
 2.  Graham Rahal         Chip Ganassi Racing       21.6636  + 0.0144  86
 3.  Tony Kanaan          KV Racing                 21.6649  + 0.0157  40  4.  Oriol Servia         Newman/Haas Racing        21.7428  + 0.0936  74
 5.  Takuma Sato          KV Racing                 21.8013  + 0.1521  73
 6.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti Autosport        21.8044  + 0.1552  63
 7.  Scott Dixon          Chip Ganassi Racing       21.8064  + 0.1572  64
 8.  Ryan Briscoe         Team Penske               21.8543  + 0.2051  72
 9.  Will Power           Team Penske               21.8944  + 0.2452  80
10.  Mike Conway          Andretti Autosport        21.9147  + 0.2655  60
11.  JR Hildebrand        Panther Racing            21.9542  + 0.3050  69 
12.  Dario Franchitti     Chip Ganassi Racing       21.9587  + 0.3095  40
13.  Charlie Kimball      Chip Ganassi Racing       21.9984  + 0.3492  63
14.  James Jakes          Dale Coyne Racing         22.0330  + 0.3838  64
15.  Danica Patrick       Andretti Autosport        22.1543  + 0.5051  72 
16.  Alex Lloyd           Dale Coyne Racing         22.1750  + 0.5258  61
17.  Tomas Scheckter      Dreyer & Reinbold Racing  22.1847  + 0.5355  94 
18.  Ernesto Viso         KV Racing                 22.1851  + 0.5359  67
19.  Alex Tagliani        Sam Schmidt Motorsports   22.2262  + 0.5770  72
20.  Helio Castroneves    Team Penske               22.2285  + 0.5793  77
21.  Vitor Meira          AJ Foyt Enterprises       22.2333  + 0.5841  74
22.  Marco Andretti       Andretti Autosport        22.3175  + 0.6683  63
23.  Ana Beatriz          Dreyer & Reinbold Racing  22.5186  + 0.8694  87
24.  Ed Carpenter         Sarah Fisher Racing       22.7120  + 1.0628  88
25.  Sebastian Saavedra   Conquest Racing           22.7725  + 1.1233  83
26.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM Racing                22.8188  + 1.1696  79
27.  Pippa Mann           Rahal Letterman Lanigan   23.2007  + 1.5515  90

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